Cuba: Alexei Ramirez Returning to Serie Nacional With Vegueros de Pinar del Rio

Alexei Ramirez of the Tampa Bay Rays dives for a grounder against the Chicago White Sox during the third inning at U.S. Cellular Field on Sept. 29, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)

By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network

Former Major League infielder Alexei Ramirez will return to Cuba’s Serie Nacional for the 2024 season to play for the Vegueros de Pinar del Río, the team announced him on their preliminary roster on January 6. 

Ramirez, 42, was born in Pinar del Rio, Cuba, and has played nine seasons in MLB with the Chicago White Sox from 2008-15, the San Diego Padres in 2016, and the Tampa Bay Rays in 2016. Ramirez was an All-Star in 2014 and won the Silver Slugger Award in 2010 and 2014. 

In nine seasons in MLB, Ramirez has as a lifetime average of .270 in 1,371 games, with 1,387 hits, 249 doubles, 17 triples, 115 home runs, 590 RBI, 143 stolen bases, 263 walks, 650 strikeouts, and a .700 OPS. 

Ramirez has not played in Serie Nacional with the Vegueros de Pinar del Rio since game five of the quarterfinals against Industriales de La Habana on Feb. 4, 2007, during the 2006-07 winter league season. 

Ramirez has won five gold medals with the Cuban national team, winning the top prize at the 2004 Olympics, the 2005 Baseball World Cup in Rotterdam, Netherlands, the 2006 Intercontinental Cup in Taichung, Taiwan, the 2006 Central American and Caribbean Games in Cartagena, Colombia, and the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

Ramierz played with Cuba at the 2006 World Baseball Classic when they lost to Japan in the championship game at Petco Park in San Diego 10-6. 

Ramirez played seven seasons in Serie Nacional with the Vegueros de Pinar del Rio from 2000-07 and has a lifetime average of .332 in 521 games with 680 hits, 105 doubles, 23 triples, 73 home runs, 326 RBI, 36 stolen bases, 220 walks, 227 strikeouts, and a .917 OPS. 

Ramirez’s last professional season was in 2018 with the Diablos Rojos del México in the Liga Mexicana de Béisbol for their developmental teams. With their developmental teams, Ramirez hit .303 in 93 games with 113 hits, 23 doubles, one triple, six home runs, 59 RBI, seven stolen bases, 32 walks, 50 strikeouts, and a .777 OPS. 

The Vegueros de Pinar del Rio will aim for their fifth title for the 2024 Serie Nacional season and have not won since the 2013-14 winter league season. 

The 2024 Serie Nacional season will be the third year the league has operated as a spring/summer league by the Federacion Cubana de Beisbol. Opening day is scheduled for March 9. 

No official schedule has yet been announced by the FCB for the 2024 season. 

Notebook: The 2024 Serie Nacional season will have a big impact on who the FCB selects to the Cuban national team roster for the World Baseball Softball Confederation Premier 12 tournament from Nov. 10-24. Cuba is currently ranked at No.8 in the World Baseball Rankings.

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